Thursday 25th April 1991   Morning surgery 10:50

Titch and Terry











Titch Mitchelson, Terry Talbot and Rodney Masters had all started smoking together in the second year in Grammar School. At lunchtime, they would nip into the park behind the school and share a fag. They would have a couple more on the way home.
They quickly realised that smoking made them feel calmer. It helped with exams, other stressful school events and, later, with job interviews or driving lessons. It was a godsend for romantic difficulties and family crises. It did not have to be entirely personal. When 19 year old Rod was dumped by Jane Finch, all three of them spent a whole morning smoking; one cigarette immediately followed by the next.
Why not have a cigarette to celebrate? There weren’t many better rewards for a Portmere victory, a good night out or a new car.

Titch and Terry gave up smoking after Rodney died of a heart attack at the age of 65. Unfortunately, it was a bit too late by then and they had both developed chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Terry was overweight and slow. Lazy, Titch called him. If Terry got a chest infection, his lips and his fingers would go blue through lack of oxygen. He would become sleepy and difficult to wake up.
“You haven’t got much respiratory drive, Terry.” Titch would say when he visited him in hospital.
They both knew that, during one of these episodes, Terry would drift off into unconsciousness and never wake up.
“It’s not a bad way to go,” Terry did his best to reassure himself.
Titch, on the other hand, was a wiry, determined character. He would keep puffing away whatever happened. Even when he was sitting on the couch, he was breathing quickly. That’s how he managed to keep his oxygen levels up. He was always a nice pink colour.
“I feel like I am constantly running,” he said.
Titch knew that he could not carry on like this forever but he was determined to keep going for as long as he could.

Titch, Terry and Rod.
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